Divisive telescope to restart building next week in Hawaii

FILE - This undated file illustration provided by Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) shows the proposed giant telescope on Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island.

FILE - This undated file illustration provided by Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) shows the proposed giant telescope on Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island.

HONOLULU (AP) — Construction on a giant telescope will start again next week after lengthy court battles over building it on a mountain that some Native Hawaiians consider sacred.

State officials announced Wednesday that the road to the top of Hawaii's tallest mountain will be closed Monday as equipment is delivered.

The Thirty Meter Telescope project got approval last month to move forward with construction. While it was the final legal step, opponents vowed to keep fighting.

Opponents say the telescope will desecrate sacred land. Supporters say it'll bring educational and economic opportunities to the state.

Construction stopped in 2015 after protesters were arrested for blocking the work. A second attempt to restart construction a few months later ended with more arrests.

The state Supreme Court upheld the telescope's construction permit in 2018.